All things considered, Aberdeen’s 1-0 win over Hamilton at a cold Pittodrie was a good three points.
There’s no question the Dons controlled the game from start to finish and – had Derek McInnes’ team been more clinical in the first half – they’d have been out of sight.
In the opening period James Wilson, Niall McGinn, Shay Logan and Sam Cosgrove all had chances to score, and – to be fair – most of their efforts were kept out by young Accies keeper Luke Southwood.
Aberdeen had 18 shots across the piece.
I did think the attempts the Reds had on target before the break could’ve been better placed, as they had a tendency to be right at the goalie.
It was the same old story, though, right after the break with a big Cosgrove goal making the difference.
His 19th of the season was taken well on the volley after he lost the Hamilton defenders at the back post.
After this, there wasn’t much in the way of creativity and a desire to go on and score some more.
Aberdeen had showed this creativity without the end product of a goal in the first half, but once they went ahead, they seemed happy enough to hold on to the one-goal advantage instead of chasing a bigger victory.
Of course the win sees them leapfrog Motherwell back into third in the Premiership, and gives them a bit of momentum going into Saturday’s clash with Celtic at Parkhead – which, along with the games against Livingston and Hearts, is a chance to make a real statement before the winter break.
I’m a firm believer, regardless of the performance against Hamilton, a trip to Glasgow will likely bring out the best in Aberdeen.
The performance will have to improve though to give them a chance.
Firstly, let’s hope Greg Leigh, taken off after taking a bang on the shin, is fit and available for the game.
He had to be replaced at left-back on the stroke of half-time by veteran Andy Considine – who I thought was unlucky to miss out and got up and down the flank in the second half.
Manager McInnes spoke during the week about how other players need to step up and help top scorer Cosgrove by pitching in with more goals.
After the game, he also compared the much-talked-about 23-year-old to former Dons number nine Adam Rooney, who left for Salford City last summer, but had a knack of netting winners in his time at Pittodrie.
Irishman Rooney tended to reach around the 20-goal mark for a season, once reaching 28.
Cosgrove already being so close to 20 before the winter break shows his importance to the team at the moment.
But you want to see more from the McGinn, Ryan Hedges and Wilson from those attacking midfield positions.
In the modern game, where teams more often than not play a single striker, you’re of course going to have a main man who is providing the bulk of the goals.
However, Hedges has just four in 20 starts, McGinn four in 19 and ex-Manchester United player Wilson has yet to find the net.
Meanwhile, Jon Gallagher – on the bench for Hamilton, but another frequently utilised attacking midfield option – has scored just one in 15 starts.
It’s not as if the chances aren’t being created for these guys – they need to start taking them.
I think Wilson looks a top player every time he’s on the ball, apart from in the box.
He’s getting a run in the team, having started the last three games, the 2-2 draw with Rangers, 3-0 loss at Hibs and Accies’ visit to the Granite City.
Against Rangers, he teed Gallagher up for what was a vital strike with the Dons 2-0 down.
I think, if he nets one himself, the confidence will see everything fall into place for him.